Lurdes Pineda - From Part-time Harvester To Goldenberry Entrepreneur
Lurdes Pineda is a goldenberry farmer in Ventaquemada, Colombia, and has been working with Terrafertil for 6 years. Lurdes’ first contact with goldenberry came several years before that, working first as a goldenberry harvester. Seeing the benefits from those who she was working for, Lurdes decided to invest in goldenberry herself. She remembers that “..I started with a small plot of 700 plants (less than half a hectare), and it has gone so well that today I have three plots totaling 2.5 hectares to maintain a constant production of goldenberry income year-round”.
Lurdes affirms, that ‘..what I like about working with Terrafertil is the stability of the price. This means I know how much I can earn. On top of that, the quality requirements by TerraFertil for the fruit are clearer and easier to manage compared to complex classification systems for other fresh Goldenberry exporters. The income from Terrafertil goes directly to savings that Lurdes saves for important occasions, or for other investments that require capital. For example, “…I used savings from goldenberry to fix my house, as well as buy implements for goldenberry cultivation, including a motorized fumigator.
Marta Gualsaqui – Investing Goldenberry Income In Education
Marta Gualsaqui was one of the first farmers in the Cumbas community to produce goldenberry eight years ago, and the organic plant is now well established as her family’s main income source. Before goldenberry, however, Marta made income from crafting bracelets, earning $5-$10 every now and then, but with no regularity. Marta started slowly with 250 goldenberry plants, and was so impressed by the regular income, earning around $150 a week, has expanded her plot to 900 plants.
Although Marta was unable to attend school as a child, she prioritizes education for her six children, five of whom are still in primary and high school in neighboring Quiroga. “Transport can be expensive to send my five children by bus to another town every day ($5), and without my income from goldenberry, it would simply not be possible”. But Marta says that its absolutely worth it as she is aware that a good education is vital today. Her eldest child, Elena, is a case in point – having recently graduated from high school has found her first job working at a reputable hotel close by in Cuicocha!